January 2010

What scientific journals do

Michael Clarke over at Scholarly Kitchen has an interesting post today Why Hasn't Scientific Publishing Been Disrupted Already?. As he points out, the World Wide Web was invented to help scientists communicate. Shelly and I recognized this the instant we heard about WWW in late 1993 - pretty early in web history - and submitted a proposal to Physical Review Letters at the time to use web technology to put the journals online. So, all that has in fact happened, but without, for the most part, much disruption of the organizations and companies that do scientific publishing. Is it because those organizations are very smart and nimble and have been able to keep up with the times?

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My youngest son (4) loves to browse the videos on the Sesame Street website. It's fun to listen in and watch once in a while, to see what amuses him. One of his favorites recently has been Cookie Monster in the Library (I hope that URL is a stable one - click through to see the video).

Peer review failures - another example?

I've discussed scientific peer review here before (one more - I really should get those category tags working!) but RealClimate's discussion of Lindzen and Choi (2009) highlights a particular example of recent peer review standards in sufficient